HAS BLOOD ON HIS HANDS
Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr
After having taken a couple of relaxing days off from having covered one of the biggest trials in Rochester, NY and Monroe County, NY history, the trial of Thomas Johnson III, a black man accused of intentionally shooting and killing Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pietrson, I'm back.
In this piece I'm going to try and summarize the trial, and perhaps most importantly, break down some things which mainstream news media will never touch.
Before I begin however, I want to make one thing clear.
In no way, shape, or form, do I condone the killing of a law enforcement officer.
On the contrary, I found the trial to extremely disturbing, especially seeing graphic photos of Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson taken after his death.
It was also hard for me seeing Steve Pierson, RPD officer Daryl Pierson's father, having to sit through a trial, listening to testimony, and watching video of the final moments of his son's life.
To be honest I'm very upset.
That's why I had to take those couple of days off to disconnect.
You see, I always looked at the killing of Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson, differently than most.
Let me explain.
There's something that neither the Rochester, NY Police Department, or ANY law enforcement agency will admit.
At least not publicly.
And that's that the law enforcement profession is seriously flawed.
And it's that flaw, a deeply rooted pattern and practice of what I see as a combination of overzealousness, prejudiced, at times even racist behavior on behalf of law enforcement officers, which often leads them to create completely unnecessary situations.
Completely unnecessary situations in which not only are they abusing, and in some cases even killing innocent citizens, but more and more plaice officers themselves are losing their lives as a result of their fellow officers' and their own unnecessary actions and behavior.
Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson
By Davy V.
When it comes to the shooting death of Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson, Thomas Johnson III may have pulled the trigger, but in the end it's a seriously flawed law enforcement profession, combined with a Rochester, NY Police officer's racial profiling, overzealousness, and curiosity that killed a young cop.
Rochester, NY Police officer Kelly Lusk
And Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr will have to live for the rest of his life knowing that he has blood on his hands.
You see, it was Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr who profiled a black man on the evening of September 3, 2014.
A black man named Anson Clark, who officer Rohr knew from Rochester's west side.
A black man who RPD officer Mark Rohr thought shouldn't have been on Rochester's east side that night.
Never mind that Rochester, NY is a city in the state of New York, which is located in the United States of America, a country which, at least the last time I checked, was still a "free" country, where citizens can freely travel from one side of a city, to another side, without having to present any papers or answer any questions from the gestapo.
But Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr didn't care about that.
All he cared about was that he didn't think Anson Clark should be on Rochester's east side, since Clark lived on the west side.
On Wednesday September 3, 2014, shortly after 9:00 p.m., Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr who works the RPD's Tactcal Unit, was driving his RPD cruiser on Joseph Avenue, on Rochester's east side.
Riding shotgun, was Rochester, NY Police officer Kelly Kusk.
The pair were working their 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift on the RPD's Tactcal Unit, the most corrupt division in the Rochester, NY Police Department.
The Rochester, NY Police Department's Tactical Unit is a free roaming unit which doesn't respond to 911 calls, and which, unlike other RPD divisions, who are assigned to a specific beat, or section of the City of Rochester, is free to move about the entire city.
Simply put, the RPD's Tactical Unit works independently of the rest of the Rochester, NY Police Department.
The RPD's Tactical Unit has a long reputation of abusing and beating citizens.
They are known for their shake downs and extortions of drug dealers, where officers will take cash and drugs from drug dealers and split it among themselves.
In fact, many times, Rochester Police Tactical Unit officers will regularly shake down and extort drug dealers, and threaten to arrest them of they don't pay 'rent'.
The message to drug dealers is clear--if you deal drugs on Rochester streets, you better pay rent to certain RPD cops, or you'll be shot down and arrested.
The RPD Tactical Unit is also known for humiliating citizens, by regularly jumping out on blacks and Latinos and forcing them to strip naked.
It's part of the Rochester, NY Police Department's well known stop and frisk.
The driver of that G6 is Anson Clark, a black man who officer Rohr immediately recognizes from interacting with him in the past.
In court, under cross examination by Thomas Johnson's defense team, Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr testified that he felt it was "suspicious" that Clark, a known west sider, was on the city's east side.
Officer Rohr referred to Anson Clark as a "bad dude".
The passenger in the G6, is Thomas Johnson III.
Whom officer Rohr knows nothing about.
Officer Rohr tells his partner, Rochester, NY Police officer Kelly Lusk that he knows Clark.
Rohr then claims that Clark fails to use his turn signal.
In court, Rochester, NY Police officer Kelly Lusk testifies she did not see Clark fail to signal, as officer Rohr claimed.
Officer Rohr also claims that Clatk's G6 has a license plate light out.
Now this is interesting.
Again, keep in mind that Rochester Police officers Mark Rohr and Kelly Lusk work the RPD's Tactical unit, a division which bills itself as concentrating on street level illegal drig activity, and other crime.
Yet they claimed that they were stopping the driver because he failed to use his turn signal, and had a blown license plate light?
The fact was that Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr wanted so bad to stop a black man because he thought that it was suspicious that Anson Clark was on the east side, that he knew he needed a reason to stop Clark.
So he claimed that Clark failed to signal, and that he had a blown light on his license plate.
And it is here, at this exact point in time, that Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr sets off a deadly chain of events, which will soon cost his fellow officer, Daryl Pierson, his life.
Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr wanted to stop Anson Clark, the moment he saw him drive by.
Whether or not it was true that Anson Clark failed to use his turn signal, or that the G6 had a blown license plate light, was irrelevant.
The fact is that any observation by RPD officer Rohr as to Clark failing to use his turn signal, was just an excuse by Rohr, who is white, to stop a black man.
So was officer Rohr's claim of the Pontiac G6 having its license plate light out.
Just an excuse.
Interestingly, even though Monroe County, NY District Attorney Sandra Doorley, and her team presented photographs of the G6 and had a Monroe County Crime Lab technician testify as to fabric evidence found in the G6 which matched a hoodie Sweat shirt Thomas Johnson was wearing, neither Doorley or her team, offered ANY proof of the G6 having a license plate light out.
So, Rochester Police officer Mark Rohr turns his RPD cruiser around, and goes after Anson Clark, the black man driving the G6 on the wrong side of town.
At least according to RPD officer Mark Rohr.
Officer Mark Rohr calls for backup, on a specially designated Rochester, NY Police Tactical radio channel, where Tactical Unit officers can talk among themselves, without any other RPD officers, supervisors, or 911 dispatchers being able to listen in.
The backup car officer Rohr called?
Rochester Police officers Michael DiPaola and Daryl Pierson..
Officer DiPaola was driving and his partner, officer Daryl Pierson is in the passenger seat.
A few minutes later, Rochester, NY Police officers Mark Rohr and Kelly Lusk locate the white G6 near Laser and Bauman Streets.
Inside the car, in the driver's seat is Anson Clark.
The black man who officer Mark Rohr didn't think should be on Rochester's east side.
At the same time as RPD officers Mark Rohr and Kelly Lusk locate the white G6, officers DiPaola and Pierson also pull up.
As they approach the G6, the officers realize that the passenger in the white G6 driven by Anson Clark, is not in the car.
He got out at some point (WHICH THE LAST TIME I CHECKED, IT'S NOT ILLEGAL TO GET OUT OF A VEHICLE).
Rochester, NY Police officers Mchael DiPaola and Daryl Pierson leave.
Officers DiPaola and Poerson then decide that they must know why a black man got out of the car.
They decide, completely on their own, that they must find that black man.
That black man who got out of the G6.
The same car their fellow officers Mark Rohr and Kelly Lusk had decided to pursue just minutes earlier because officer Rohr didn't think that a black man who lives near the west side of Rochester, should be on the east side.
So off they go.
On a mission.
Rochester, NY Police officers Mike DiPaola and Daryl Pierson.
And their curiosity.
Because that's all it was.
You see, they knew ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about who the passenger was.
In fact, all they knew was that a black man who was in a car that was being driven by another black man, got out of that car.
That was it!
As RPD officers Mike DiPaola and Daryl Pierson are hunting down a black man, officers Mark Rohr and Kelly Lusk are handcuffing Anson Clark, the black man who was driving the white G6.
It turns out that Clark had a suspended license.
Or so they say.
I say that because I went to EVERY day of the trial for Thomas Johnson III, and Monroe County, NY District Attorney Sandra Doorley NEVER presented ANY evidence that Anson Clark's license was in fact "suspended"
Remember how I said that despite Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr claiming that the G6 Anson Clark was driving had a license plate light out, prosecutors NEVER offered any evidence of that?
But even if Anson Clark's license was in fact suspended, Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr couldn't have known that when Clark drive by him.
Besides, Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr made it very clear what his issue with Anson Clark was.
He thought it was "suspicious" that Clark was on the east side.
As Rochester, NY Police officers Michael DiPaola and Daryl Pierson are driving on Hudson Avenue, they see the black man they are looking for.
As officer DiPaola turns left onto Agnes Street, Johnson, who is walking on the sidewalk, turns and runs.
Before officer DiPaola can even bring the cruiser to a complete stop, officer Daryl Pierson jumps out and runs after Thomas Johnson.
What follows is a foot chase which is captured on dark, grainy, video footage from several video surveillance cameras from street corner bodegas and even a neighborhood bar.
I won't get into what the video footage eventually shows, as I've included the link below, so you can watch it yourself.
But I will say that it's disturbing.
You see, I see something in the video, which most folks don't see.
I see Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson being set up.
Set up by his fellow brother, Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr.
But officer Pierson doesn't even realize it.
He didn't realize that the entire situation which his fellow brother, officer Mark Rohr created, will result in him losing his life.
Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson doesn't realize that his fellow brother, officer Mark Rohr, created a completely unnecessary situation all because he didn't think that a black man should have been on a different side of the city than the side he lived on.
Officer Pierson doesn't realize that he's been set up.
And he didn't realize that his own overzealousness, and prejudice, looking for, and jumping out on a black man who he knew nothing about, and who had done nothing other than got out of a car being driven by a black man who officer Rohr thought shouldn't be on Rochester's east side, would result in his own death.
Perhaps Thomas Johnson's Defense Attorney James Hinman said it best.
"This is a chase that never should have happened."
And it never would have happened, if it wasn't for Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr.
Which is why I say Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr has blood on his hands.
There were some interesting things I observed in the trial of Thomas Johnson III.
Again, as I stated earlier at the top of this piece,in no way, shape, or form, do I condone the shooting and killing of ANY police officer.
On the contrary, I'm a firm believer that violence against police officers is NEVER the answer.
In fact, whenever there is violence against a law enforcement officer, it ruins the hard work people such as my dad, Mario Vara worked so hard for denouncing police misconduct and corruption and demanding police and official accountability through peaceful protests and marches.
I DO NOT condone violence against law enforcement officers, such as the ambush style executions of two NYPD officers who were sitting in their police cruisers.
With that said, I'm an American.
And as an American, I believe that even the worst criminal has the right to a fair trial.
I'm disgusted whenever I hear other Americans saying things like "He's a scumbag, don't give him a trial!" or "Let that piece of shit rot in jail why give him a trial?"
By the way, those comments and many more were said by Americans referring to Thomas Johnson III.
It disgusts me because it's unamerican.
It goes against our justice system.
Which brings me to some disturbing things I observed during the trial.
JUDGE THOMAS MORAN'S INSTRUCTIONS TO JURY
In order for the jury to find Thomas Johnson guilty of aggravated murder of a police officer, they first would have to find that the actions of that police officer, Daryl Pierson were lawful.
That Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson was acting under his "official duties", at the time he was shot.
But he wasn't.
The fact is, although the Rochester, NY Police Department would never admit it, that the only police officer who was acting under his official duties that night was Rochester Police officer Michael DiPaola.
DiPaaola, who by the way, could have, and would have been completely justified in killing Thomas Johnson after Johnson shot officer Pierson, but instead used a great deal of restraint by shooting Johnson in the leg, as you will see in the video, was the only police officer that night who acted under official duties, when he shot Johnson.
But Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr had no right to racially profile a black man becayse he didn't think that black man should have been on Rochester's east side.
In other words, the stop of the G6 was clearly not a lawful stop.
Neither was Rochester Police officer Daryl Pierson jumping out of his police cruiser and chasing Thomas Johnson III.
Again, up to that point, Thomas Johnson III had done nothing wrong.
Running is NOT in itself, a crime.
Don't forget, none of the officers knew ANYTHING about Thomas Johnson III.
Rochester, NY Police officer Michael DiPaola had no right to even attempt to stop or question Thomas Johnson III, who again, had done nothing wrong, and was simply walking on the sidewalk.
And Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson had no right to jump out and chase Thomas Johnson III in the first place.
Besides, it was pretty clear what Rochester, HY Police officer Daryl Pierson's intentions were, as wines Jamal Bolar testified during the trial.
Bollar, an innocent bystander who was shot in his left leg during the foot chase, testified that he had taken his dog outside to use the bathroom, when he saw Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson chasing Johnson.
Bollar testified that he heard Johnson yell, You're going to have to catch me," to officer Pierson, and that Pierson yelled to Johnson, "I'm going to fuck you up!"
But here's the thing which shows that Judge Thomas Moran, an ex-cop, and prosecutor who is married to an ex-cop, should not have been presiding over the trial.
Knowing that the stop of the G6, and the foot chase by Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson were unlawful, Judge Thomas Moran ruled that the stop did not have to be legal in order for officer Pierson to exercise "official duties."
The jury was not instructed to consider whether Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson's actions were unlawful.
Which they were.
JUDGE THOMAS MORAN REFUSED TO SEQUESTER JURY DESPITE CASE BEING ONE OF BIGGEST IN MONROE COUNTY, NY HISTORY.
THE EX-COP AND PROSECUTOR MARRIED TO AN EX-COP
Judge Thomas Moran
The judge presiding over the trial of Thomas Johnson III was Judge Thomas Moran.
Prime I said earlier, Judge Moran is an ex-cop, and prosecutor, who is married to a retired Livingston County, NY Sheriff's investigator.
Judge Moran refused to recuse himself, despite defense Attorney James Hinman asking that he do so due to obvious conflicts of interest.
Think about it.
An ex-cop, and prosecutor, who is married to an ex-cop, presiding over the trial of a black man accused of killing a cop.
But like I said, Judge Miran refused to recuse himself.
One of the most disturbing things, was the fact that despite defense Attorney James Hinman requesting that Judge Thomas Moran sequester the jury during deliberations, Judge Thomas Moran refused to do so.
The jury in one of the biggest trials in Rochester, NY and Monroe County, NY history was bombarded and possibly influenced by intense news media coverage.
During the trial, one juror even told Judge Moran that he turned on a news channel only to see one of the attorneys on TV, then quickly switched channels.
Or so he said.
By not sequestering the jury, they were undoubtedly influenced by family members, friends, etc., who no doubt had their two cents and opinions to share.
ROCHESTER, NY POLICE DEPARTMENT'S INTERESTING TIMING IN SIGN DEDICATION FOR ROCHESTER, NY POLICE OFFICER DARYL PIERSON.
Sign honoring Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson
While I'm on the subject of the jury being influenced by not being sequestered, it's interesting to note that on Friday May 8, 2015, the same day the jury found Thomas Johnson III guilty of several felonies including aggravated murder of a police officer, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of life without parole, the Rochester, NY Police Department held a ceremony on the corner of Hudson Avenue and Ernst Street, where Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson was shot, unveiling a sign in his memory.
The ceremony featured hundreds of police officers, and officials.
And of course, the event was heavily reported on by Rochester, NY's mainstream news media.
It's interesting how the Rochester, NY Police Department couldn't wait until after the trial was over to hold the dedication ceremony.
Interesting how they just had to hold the sign unveiling ceremony on that specific day.
It's as if they knew the jury would announce their verdict just a few hours after their ceremony.
THOMAS JOHNSON III HANDCUFFED WITH ROCHESTER, NY POLICE OFFICER'S HANDCUFFS AFTER VERDICT
Monroe County, NY Sheriff's Deputy gets ready to handcuff Thomas Johnson III with
Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson's handcuffs. (Photo: Jamie Germano D&C)
One thing I thought was silly and totally inappropriate was the fact that after the jury delivered its verdict, Judge Thomas Moran allowed Monroe County, NY Sheriff's deputies to use Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson's handcuffs to handcuff Thomas Johnson III as he was taken out of the court room.
Inappropriate and a very disturbing sign of why Judge Thomas Moran should have recused himself.
It's clear that Judge Thomas Moran's history as a police officer, and former prosecutor, and his marriage to a retired cop, was more than enough to make him biased.
ROCHESTER, NY MAYOR LOVELY WARREN'S HIPOCRICY
Rochester, NY Mayor Lovely Warren
In what has got to be the most hypocritical moment of the trial, Rochester, NY Mayor Lovely Warren, who didn't attend the trial, or in any way supported Rochester Police officers, showed up to hear the verdict, then made sure to get her face in front of as many television news cameras as she possibly could!
Both Disgusting and Hilarious!
Monroe County, NY District Attorney Sandra Doorley
BLOOD ON HIS HANDS.
Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr
Rochester, NY Police officer Michael DiPaola
Rochester, NY Police officer Mark Rohr
Defense Attorney James Hinman
Defense Attorney Daniel Aurelli
Thomas Johnson III before being handcuffed
Click link below to watch video of Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson shooting.
Read my other piece on Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson:
Witness: Rochester, NY Police officer Daryl Pierson Yelled at Black Man; "I'm Going to Fuck You Up!"
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